Nazi Art Hoarder Snuck Monet into Hospital Room

Monet smuggled in a suitcase to Cornelius Gurlitt's bedside before he died, investigators say.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff,

The name plate on the house of Cornelius Gurl
The name plate on the house of Cornelius Gurl
Reuters

The reclusive son of a Nazi-era art dealer who amassed a giant secret collection snuck a Monet with him into the German
hospital where he died in May, investigators said Friday.

The executor of Cornelius Gurlitt's estate discovered the French Impressionist artwork in a suitcase handed over to him by the clinic this week.

"The work on paper shows a landscape in light blue," the government task force investigating the hoard said in a statement.

Gurlitt informed a court in the southern city of Munich of the findings, the task force said.

"An initial look through the Monet catalogue of works indicates that it may have been completed in 1864," given its similarity to the painting "Vue de Sainte-Adresse" finished that year.

Gurlitt had hidden 1,280 paintings, drawings and sketches -- believed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and including masterpieces by Picasso and Chagall -- in his Munich flat for decades.

Many of the works, which were seized in early 2012 when they were discovered by chance during a tax evasion probe, are believed to have been stolen or extorted from Jews under a Nazi scheme to systematically plunder valuable art collections.

Gurlitt, who died last month at 81, was the son of a Nazi-era art dealer who hoarded hundreds of paintings valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

During the Nazi era, Gurlitt's father Hildebrand was tasked with selling works taken or bought under duress from Jewish families, and avant-garde art seized from German museums that the Hitler regime deemed "degenerate."

Prior to his death he had struck a deal with German and Israeli authorities to help track down the rightful owners of the 1,280 artworks, including Jews whose property was stolen or extorted under the Third Reich.

At least one work, Matisse's "Seated Woman," was announced in June as having been stolen by the Nazi regime from Jewish Paris-based art dealer Paul Rosenberg.

In the course of its investigations, the task force has announced spectacular new finds including sculptures thought to be by Degas and Rodin uncovered in Gurlitt's cluttered flat in July.

A day after Gurlitt's May 6 death, Switzerland's Museum of Fine Arts in Bern said it had been astonished to learn it was named as the recipient of Gurlitt's collection in his will, an offer it said it was assessing.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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